Heather has always had a fascination with the kind of things
people collect. She explains how both of her aunties were
hoarders. “I found it joyous as a child. They taught me about going to jumble sales and rooting through the items on sale for ‘treasures’. Yet I always wanted to tidy up when I visited – they just laughed!”
Following an emotive experience working as a ‘de-clutterer’, Heather realised there was little or no help available for people affected by hoarding disorder.
Since then Heather has specialised in the subject and, in 2009, formed Clouds End CIC. The social enterprise is not just for individuals but also social services, housing associations, landlords, Primary Care Trusts and, in fact, anyone who needs to tackle hoarding situations that are creating problems.
She believes the process has to be fun or it won’t succeed. People often start off frightened about what may be asked of them but the idea is to help people slowly change their behaviour at a pace they find comfortable not to compel them to make dramatic, shocking changes.
In June 2011, Clouds End won the Business in the Community (BITC) West Midlands START Award 2011 for Most Innovative Low Carbon Product or Service.
Heather plans to expand her business to one day include Task Forces.
These will consist of a tailored group of external individuals/organisations,
from psychiatrists to cleaning companies, that will help in an individual’s
progress in clearing their hoarded property.
Being a Community Interest Company means we are part-funded,
this can come from a wide range of sources and helps keep our work
going. These include contributions from individual supporters of the company, as well as grants from sources including Unlimited (Level 1) and Be Birmingham.
I emailed him that night. Andy clearly understood how to work with people with hoarding disorder. He was compassionate, patient and funny!
Despite becoming a national hero overnight, Andy emailed back.He told me he really wanted to work with hoarding disorder and so we found a way to make that happen.
Andy officially joined the team in December 2012. He brings his own fabulous skills to Clouds End. He loves helping people and this work allows him to indulge that passion.
His mix of tolerance, creative suggestions and sense of humour make him a perfect fit for Clouds End and our clients.
Belinda has worked in the medical and mental health arena since 1992 with extensive experience in medical education with a particular interest in a multi-agency approach to health and social care. Belinda met Andy, her neighbour, in 2013 when she offered to help him with one of his clients in her spare time, she immediately showed a natural ability to work with people with hoarding disorder with her non judgemental and caring approach.
Belinda now works full time with Clouds End CIC focusing mainly in London and the South East.